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Göttingen Old Klingon

Telegraph sculpture

close up of the fake Klingon

In 2011, the university of Göttingen in Germany set up a monument in bronze about the creation of the telegraph. This monument was designed by artist Reinhold Wittig and contains a brief explanation written in 26 language, allegedly including ancient Klingon.(1) Other languages include Arabic and Esperanto, which all seem to be done correctly.

The plaque says:
Why don't you call home right away? Tell them that you are at exactly the right place in Göttingen where the first electromagnetic telecommunication took place in 1833. And that you have just tried it out yourself and experienced how difficult it was in those days!


  • The text is not using any of the known Klingon letters, and it's not decipherable what it means. The text is only half the length as the other texts, so unlikely to have the same meaning.
  • The letters on the plaque are hard to distinguish, but a first sight reveals there are only nine or ten digits used here. It's interesting to note that the number "1833" is not written in the unknown font.
  • The repetition of some letters in a word show that this is unlikely to be real tlhIngan hol, such as 1-2-2 or 2-2-1-3. The basic syllable structure in Klingon always 1-2-1 basically.


The designer Reinhold Wittig confirmed that there is no meaning behind the symbols. They are just arranged for graphical reasons. He also made clear that he was very aware that Klingon is a real and functional language, so instead of risking to do any mistakes, he decided to invent what he calls Old-Klingon (in German "Alt-Klingonisch"). Before he did so, he checked his sources to avoid any conflict. It seems like he did not recognize our no' Hol, described in Klingon for the Galactic Traveler.

The shape of the letters is based on a geological structure called "Fiederspalte" or "Fiederkluft", which appear in shear zones, where two different plates move against each other. (2)

The designer has used this "Old Klingon" for other things too, like signs for his gaming group. (3)

See also


1 : (de) Elektrische Nachrichten aus dem Bronzequader

2 : telephone interview with Lieven L. Litaer of October 23, 2018

3 : (de) Beim Göttinger Spieleautorentreffen fallen die Würfel, 24.03.2014, Göttinger Tageblatt

External links

Category: Appearance    Latest edit: 17 Nov 2018, by MarcZankl    Created: 22 Oct 2018 by KlingonTeacher
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